MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 12:  Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello shouts at his team beside Espanyol manager Ernesto Valverde during the Primera Liga match between Real Madrid and Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on May 12, 2007 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Fabio Capello;Ernesto Valverde

Five PR lessons from an Italian master!

Fabio Capello’s decision to resign as England manager is yet another stroke of genius from a man whose PR tactics have often been on the ball!

While not all may agree with his decision to go, there’s plenty to learn from him (and much to be missed!). Here’s five of them:

  1. Timing – his decision to go also happened on the day when the news coverage had, until then, been all about Harry Redknapp. While his reasons were for leaving were for something else entirely, it must have helped that this was focussing the eyes of the football world at the same time. While it didn’t ‘relegate’ him from that day’s news, it did confuse matters. His timing was also great as it showed him as a master of his own destiny, not allowing things to fester with the FA and possibly turning the public against him.
  2. Relationships – building a strong relationship with the media has helped Fabio greatly. His comments via an Italian broadcaster just before his departure showed he had an understanding of how the media works and that he was in control of the agenda.
  3. You don’t have to win to win – Fabio will now be remembered for leaving for reasons of principle rather than footballing matters. While his record as England manager was respectable, apart from last year’s World Cup performance!, that will now be forgotten. He’s taken the moral high ground and earned respect from various quarters, some of which he might not have enjoyed before. Equally the FA appear to have emerged from this positively, proving there can be win-win situations, or at least a score draw.
  4. Understand your market – Fabio hardly spoke a word of English when he was first unveiled as England manager. While it was obviously necessary for him to do so, the speed and willingness at which he did it was a real lesson in market understanding, quickly getting cynical England fans on board and making it easier for him to communicate his message with the media.
  5. Preparation is key – while some may argue his England side was not always fully prepared, his PR approach always was. From quickly getting the backing of England fans, to leaving the position on a matter of principle, there’s much to be learnt from an Italian master.

Clearly the fallout from this episode is yet to be felt but is does demonstrate the importance of managing your reputation at all times. If your business needs help managing its reputation then why not give us a call. You won’t be scoring an own goal!

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